Photos and reporting by Robert Kokenyesi, Ceramic Artist, Beachfront Pottery, Godfrey, IL, 62035, USA. If you enjoyed this post, then give me a “like” on my Facebook page. There is additional information about Beachfront Pottery on my web site.
The all media exhibit titled “Surface Delineated: Texture in Art” took place in the Edwardsville Arts Center in Edwardsville, Illinois from June 22 through July 27, 2018.
This wall greeted the viewer after entering the Arts Center.
The Call for Entry
This exhibit featured the works of 11 artists who work in a variety of media, but have one common thread – the importance of texture in their work. For some, heavy texture on canvas creates an environment important to their ideas. For others, the contrast of smooth versus rough conveys an interesting dichotomy. I didn’t find any call for entry, so I have to assume that the curator, Carolyn Tidball, orchestrated the pieces around the theme of the exhibit title.
The Ceramic Art Pieces
Three ceramic artists were represented in this exhibit.
On his web site Philip has a good deal of information about his creating process, and even his paper thesis for his MFA. In his artist statement for this exhibit he writes “The vessels I create tend to employ a rather minimal overall form. My visual vocabulary embraces fluid contours, and very seldom employ extra embellishments that deviate from the simplicity I am after. Because the shapes are direct, I find that the surface of the work usually entices the viewer to take a second look. ”
My personal favorite is the bowl, because of the weathered surface texture, and the vase, because of the gradually shifting colors.
All her pieces were titled “Emigration Immigration” with different serial numbers. Her web site didn’t provide much narrative, but an exhibit comment from the Sager/Braudis Gallery said: “she found in ceramics a set of material qualities that lent themselves to visual discussion of her relocation and adjustment to a second culture. Duality is central in her work; we see in each sculpture two distinct clay bodies, two methods, and two types of form. Two cultures, one artist. Nosri carefully pairs light and dark, fragile and solid, smooth and rough, all while anchoring families of smaller vessels in protective, boat-like forms. Atop her emigration / immigration allegory sits a technically functional tea set, inviting use, ritual, and social connection.”
From the narrative it looks like Norleen grapples with the consequences of immigrating into a new country, into a new culture. I’m a naturalized citizen; I sympathize with her. I like the color contracts, the shiny porcelain contacting the courser earthenware, and also the gold leafs. My personal favorite is XII, because of the distribution of the tea cups.
On her web site Susan writes: “it is the problem solving aspect of working in clay that motivates me. A narrative is not the starting point. Each series leads to a set of questions and solutions and new problems to tackle, which leads to a seemingly disparate body of work. ” Similar artwork tho these three are found in the “toy” category on her web site. I’m thinking that the problem she was solving in these pieces is how to make animals look good on wheels (like toys that children can pull).
My personal favorite is the 3 frogs, because it feels that those frogs are staring at me.